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Topic: Pioneers

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Ferguson, Emory C. (1833-1911)

Likeable to practically everyone who knew him, Emory Canda Ferguson was an authentic pioneer whose life was centrally linked to the beginnings of Snohomish County. New York born and a carpenter by tra...

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Finding Cherry Grove by Hunter Brown

Hunter Brown (1992-2017) wrote this account of locating and then traveling to the site of Cherry Grove, Illinois. Cherry Grove was the town the Denny/Boren family left behind in April 1851 when they s...

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Fort Dent Park

Fort Dent Park in Tukwila was once a winter village for the Duwamish Indian tribe. After being partially vacated following the signing of the 1855 Point Elliott treaty, the site briefly became home to...

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Fred Grow -- Reminiscence of a Bainbridge Island Pioneer (1958)

This is a 1958 interview of Fred Grow, a Bainbridge Island pioneer, by Natalie Rudolf. Fred Grow arrived as a child about 1881, and grew up to become a deputy sheriff and later a Justice of the Peace ...

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From Kansas to Kitsap County: An 1889 Account by C. A. Mullenix

This is a letter by Cary Allen Mullenix (1827-1889) relating information about his 1889 trip from Fredonia, Kansas, to Seattle and Kitsap County, Washington. The letter was printed in a Kansas newspap...

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Frost, Morris H. (ca.1806-1882)

Morris H. Frost was a prominent Democrat, businessman and entrepreneur in Washington Territory. Arriving just as the territory was created, he was politically active from the beginning, gaining appoi...

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Furth, Jacob (1840-1914)

Jacob Furth played a pivotal role in the development of Seattle's public transportation and electric power infrastructure, and he was the founder of Seattle National Bank. As the agent for the utiliti...

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Gatzert, Bailey (1829-1893)

In 1875, Bailey Gatzert became the first and to date (2005) only Jewish mayor of Seattle. Gatzert was partner and general manager of Schwabacher and Co., one of Seattle's earliest hardware and general...

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Gayton, John T. (1866-1954)

John T. Gayton, one of Seattle's earliest black residents, a community leader, and patriarch of one of the city's most outstanding black families, came to Seattle in 1889. He retired as U. S. District...

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George Washington Sutherland: A Young Man Goes West

Spokane historian Jerome Peltier interviewed pioneer George Washington Sutherland (1854-1949) in the 1940s, and in 1989 prepared this account for The Pacific Northwesterner. It describes Sutherland&ac...

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Go West Young Man: Great Grandpa Charles McDowell

This People's History was contributed by Diana Schafer Ford. It is about the migration to the West of her great grandfather Charles McDowell in the 1880s.

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Gold in the Pacific Northwest

The discovery of gold in California in 1848 sent would-be millionaires on a quest for treasure throughout the West. By 1900, major strikes had been made in Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Alaska, and western C...

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Grose, William (1835-1898)

William Grose, a black pioneer, came to Seattle around 1860 and became a successful businessman. He acquired one of the largest land holdings in the city and paid among the most in taxes.

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Hall, Joseph Banyan (1857-1947): Autobiography

Joseph Banyan Hall  migrated to Spokane Falls in Washington Territory in 1884, working as a blacksmith and raising cattle and wheat. He later went into the hardware business in Spokane. Hall penn...

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Hanford, Edward (1807-1884)

Seattle pioneer Edward Hanford, logger, orchardist, farmer, and a founder of South Seattle, was the brother-in-law of one of the first white men to visit the future King County, John C. Holgate (1828-...

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Harvey, John (1828-1886): An Account of His Life by By Eldon Harvey (1984) and Donna Harvey (2004)

John Harvey was an English-born settler who arrived in the Oregon Territory and Alki Point in March 1852, four months after the Denny Party arrived. Harvey staked a claim on Lake Washington, experienc...

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Hawley, Robert Emmett (1862-1946)

Emmett Hawley was one of the first non-Indian settlers in Lynden, the northwestern Whatcom County town located a few miles below the Canadian border, arriving there as a 10-year-old in the early autum...

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History Day award winner -- Maynard, David Swinson (1808-1873): Father of Seattle by Alice Evered

This essay about the life and times of Seattle pioneer Doc Maynard was written by Alice Evered, a student at Northshore Junior High School in Bothell, and won a prize in the Junior Division, Historica...

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History, History Everywhere: A Remembrance of Growing Up in Snohomish County's Robe Valley

This reminiscence of growing up in the 1940s and 1950s in Snohomish County's Robe Valley was written by Joan Rawlins Biggar Husby. Robe Valley is located about 10 miles east of Granite Falls on the Mo...

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Horton, Dexter (1825-1904)

Illinois-raised Dexter Horton arrived in Seattle in 1853 as a member of what was called the "Bethel Party" (or Bethel Company), Seattle's second covered-wagon expedition. Horton worked in Henry Yesler...

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Huelsdonk, John (1866-1946) and Dora (1863-1947)

John Huelsdonk and his wife, Dora (Wolff) Huelsdonk, were the first settlers on the Hoh River and the Olympic Peninsula's most famous pioneers. Huelsdonk's homestead, claimed in 1891, was on the west ...

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Jewish Community of Spokane

The first synagogue in the state opened in Spokane in 1892, but the city's Jewish history began even before the little village of Spokane Falls existed. In 1879, Indians told Simon Berg, the first kno...

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John Luther Murray: Synopsis of My Life

John Luther Murray (1859-1949), a longtime resident of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island in Northwest Washington, served as auditor and treasurer of San Juan County, as a state legislator, and as mayor...

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Journey from Puyallup to east Lewis County (1885): A Reminiscence

This is an account by Gus A. Temple of a March 1885 journey from Puyallup (in present-day Pierce County) to Davis Lake Valley in east Lewis County near present-day Morton. Temple was 14 years old at t...

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